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Why why why why why

Why why why why why

Do you rent in Dubai? If so you’re probably familiar with the 5 percent fee you have to pay your real estate agent for doing pretty much nothing.


February 14, 2011 5:09 by

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a renter. Because, if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re in Dubai, and if you’re in Dubai there’s an extremely good chance you’re not a home owner. Add into the mix the fact you’re reading an English-language blog ad we can say with confidence you’re probably an expat, and if you’re an expat you’re even more likely to be renting. So ends our Hercule Poirot-like lesson in deduction.

Where were we? Oh yeah, renting. If you’re a renter, which you probably are, you’re likely to have paid the equivalent of about 5 percent of your annual rent to a Letting Agent/Real Estate Agent, as a “commission.”

In this instance, commission would refer to: “A fee or percentage allowed to a sales representative or an agent for services rendered.”

Kipp thinks you can see where we’re going with this. Because this has to be the biggest con in Dubai.

Services rendered. Kipp wants to know: EXACTLY WHAT SERVICE ARE WE PAYING YOU FOR? Having rented a number of places, and having visited many flats, apartments and villas with a view to picking one, we have never, at any point, received anything that should be characterized as service.

What should the job of a letting agent be? Well, first up, advertising the flat (Dubizzle, three minutes. Done). Second, show the flat to interested parties (“It is unlocked you go ask security. Tell me if you like.” Done. Or worse, show up, get the wrong flat, then fail to know anything at all about the unit when you eventually find the right one). Third, act as the link between Landlord and prospective tenant (“You must speak to landlord, he can negotiate.” Done). Fourth, provide the rental contract (available at any good stationery store for 50 fils. Done). Fifth, register contract with RERA through the Ejari system. This is the only moderately challenging bit, more tedious than anything else, but apparently pretty straight forward once you’ve paid AED 500 and attended one single RERA training session.

And that is it. That is what earns you your 5 percent.

So to recap: In our experience you are most often unhelpful, lazy, disinterested, and don’t have to do much, but thanks to the system, you can command as much as 5 percent “commission.” You make Kipp very angry indeed.


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  1. smithy on February 15, 2011 10:26 am

    Well said Kipp. The most bizarre aspect is that the agent is actually selected and appointed by the landlord and yet it is the tenant who pays the commission! In other countries the landlord pays, which makes sense. Regrettably, common sense is rarely present in this market.

  2. Andy on February 15, 2011 5:54 pm

    In Qatar the renter pays the commission, although the law stipulates that it should be paid by the landlord. If you don’t pay, you don’t get the flat, no matter what the law says.

  3. Gaurav on February 16, 2011 2:34 pm

    Before writing this s**t articals please go through the market… and if this is so easy stop writing blogs and earn some money….if you are capable of


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